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Director’s note སྐོར་

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Message from the director

  There is something about too much stillness or silence that can feel almost painful. I wanted to share a story that was emotional without being exploitative or sensational. Making space for stillness is one way I tried to do that. To get in someone’s heart without harming them, you need to be very still, and gentle.

  The aim of སྙིང་གཏམ་: The Heart’s Tale is to shine a quiet light into the Tibetan heart and slowly let many feelings emerge. When I first began thinking of this art piece, I felt like it was a letter to both my family and my community. Because of life circumstances unrelated to my gender expression or sexual orientation, I have a lot of distance from most of my family. Some of them have never known me. This makes me emotional, especially with regard to family elders.

  I think the Tibetan community already possesses the necessary conditions to welcome their fellow Tibetans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning (LGBTIQ+). I think sometimes we just need a little wake up to move away from our insecurities, toward loving one another to our full potential.

  I am well aware of the common priorities facing the Tibetan people; these priorities unite and motivate our lives. By responding appropriately to LGBTIQ+ issues, domestic violence, addiction struggles and other secrets, I believe the power of Tibetans to address our common concerns will increase tenfold.

  The unhappiness of even a single person can affect us all, just as one person with a peaceful mind and heart is capable of great change. As neighbors, colleagues, relatives, and friends, the simplest exchanges among us can shape our character and community for the better. However small, I hope སྙིང་གཏམ་ generates something stable, and good.

Tenzin Mingyur Paldron (written December 2016)

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, ‘A Transgender Tibetan Speaks on Sexual Assault: TCHRD’s Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence’. Facebook and Youtube.

སྙིང་གཏམ་ is pronounced nying·t(h)um and translates into ‘the heart’s secret’ or ‘the heart’s tale.’ You tell your nïngtam to someone you trust.

The story behind སྙིང་གཏམ་ : The heart’s tale was filmed on lands of the Coast Salish, Squaxin, and Nisqually nations by W.W. with assistance by Renata Rollins